If you are intending to create or update your estate plan in 2019, congratulations.
Unfortunately, for too many, procrastination causes delays in creating much needed plans. one reason for the delay is that estate planning can seem overwhelming and stressful because it’s a whole new “thing” with new lingo and big decisions to be made. As if that weren’t enough, estate planning involves talking about our health, death, incapacity, interpersonal relations, and finances. At this point, you may be thinking that a root canal is preferable.
Never fear! There are many ways to make estate planning easier. And, once you’ve made the leap, you’ll benefit from peace of mind and sleep better at night.
- Select an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney who focuses his or her practice on estate planning and elder law; operates in a down-to-earth, yet professional, manner; and works in a solo practice or small firm.
- Read your attorney’s web site and blog to learn estate planning basics. Check out any client reviews about the attorney. The more you know, the more you’ll understand and the more focused your questions will be.
- Write down all of your questions and bring them to your estate planning meetings. Jot down the answers to your questions so you can refer back to them later. Many good attorneys will send you information in advance of your meeting to help jump start your planning.
- Keep your paperwork organized. Get rid of old paperwork that you don’t need and organize what you keep so that you can readily find what you’re looking for. This will help your loved ones if they need to step in and offer assistance.
Make separate files for your estate planning documents, most recent bank and investment statements, online usernames and passwords, important documents and certificates, professional advisor contact list, funeral arrangements, people to be contacted upon your death, and love letters to loved ones.
- Make the best decisions you can at the time. Don’t tie yourself up in knots over how to distribute your property or who to name as trustee or executor. Just make the best decisions you can, knowing that you can update, amend, or revoke your estate planning documents any time you are alive and well.
Congratulations on your good intentions. Let’s make those intentions a reality by scheduling the meeting with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.